There’s been a lot of hype surrounding The Golden Compass in the past couple of months, I know Rhi has been very excited about it and looking forward to seeing it.
Last night I went to see it with my brother and sister, a bit unsure of what to expect, given that I have not read the book, so I only knew what I had seen in the trailer and what Rhi had told me about it.
Anyway, off I went to see it, and while the animation and acting were both great, and all of the actors were well cast, I think the movie could have been far better. When it finished, I couldn’t help but feel like it had been a waste of two hours.
If you don’t mind a little spoiler, here is the trailer. If you aren’t sure if you want to go see it or not, watch the trailer, almost everything that happens of interest in the movie is in the trailer:
The only thing that isn’t in the trailer that is of significant interest is the fight between the armoured bears.
I am sure that its a good story, but the film didn’t do it justice. There is a comment on the movie on IMDB by Simon Parker where he says
” If you haven’t read the book you’ll love it, if you have you’ll be a bit disappointed.”
This I believe is far from the truth as I definitely did not love it, and I think anyone else who has a similar lack of knowledge of the story won’t like it greatly either. The only reason I can see to like it is if you already understand the story and can make sense of what is in the movie.
The story did make sense yes, but it was not well explained, and left a lot of questions. I have to agree with the Triple J movie review that gave it a 2.5/5 which is mysteriously no longer on the Triple J movie review website, I don’t think it can really get any higher than this without knowledge of the book. The voters on IMDB have given it an average rating of 6.6/10 at the time of writing this. For every age group, the average is between 6.3 and 7.5.
A contrast to my perspective is that my sister thoroughly enjoyed the movie.
Simon Parker also mentions that the film would benefit from an extra half an hour. While this may be the case, I don’t think I could sit through an extra half hour, unless it was filling in more detail near the start of the film.
The reason I say this is that I was in the cinema for half an hour and felt like I had been sitting there for over an hour and nothing had really happened yet. It got to an hour and it felt like I had been there for near two hours and still, nothing much had happened. So if there were to be an extra half hour, I think it would need to be used to make the first half hour of the film more interesting and fill in more details.
I understand that the ending of the book was left off the ending of the movie and is to be included in the start of the second movie instead. Perhaps this would have helped the movie overall, perhaps not. I really hope that the second movie is going to be done better though and not rush the story so much that details are left out and the story loses its appeal.